By: Zac DelVecchio
I don’t sleep. That is probably one of my favorite answers to give when people ask, “how do I do it?” To most, it probably seems absolutely crazy, but to myself I have never found it “over my head”. My name is Zac DelVecchio and I am a full time student and a serial entrepreneur.
Without going into a lot of details about everything I do, I am a 7th semester student at Berklee majoring in Music Business Marketing. I am the co-founder of bistara.com, the world’s first freelance site for college students. I am also the co founder of 3 other startups ranging from buying and selling classic cars, an online and brick and mortar boutique music superstore, A clothing line and smart home technology marketplace. I am the head East Coast representative for Knaggs Guitars as well as a consultant on product design, branding and manufacturing for 9 other guitar product brands. I am a licensed real estate agent, contributing writer to Verge magazine, do marketing and website consulting for companies and I am in the process of creating an oyster farm/distillery on Long Island, which is where I was born and raised. I also love deep-sea fishing and enjoy long walks on the beach.
Now that you have a glimpse at what I do let me tell you while it is a ton of fun it is not easy. The first thing I have learned on this weird and crazy adventure is that you are never “off”. Days of the week become irrelevant. The biggest change to my life was the concept of the convertible week (that’s at least what I call it). This idea means simply that a Thursday can be your “Sunday” and a Sunday is now a Thursday and so on. Some weeks you will have to work all weekend, but you find your schedule is light on Tuesday so you take some time off then. Every week this alters, but the trick is you always find one day to at least not be on a phone call throughout the entire day.
You can’t work 9-5 like normal people either. Time is irrelevant and the only time structure around you is based on when you have meetings, phone calls, projects due and maybe that thing called class. My biggest challenge was realizing that there really isn’t an early bedtime either. I am typically in development meetings with one of my tech teams that start at 1:30AM Sunday through Thursday and am often in bed most nights of the week around 3-4AM. All nighters are also a necessary thing because you can’t have a 16 credit load and multiple companies all working and occurring at the same time without needing to stretch out your day a little more.
Contrary to popular belief among my friends, I am still an enrolled and active student. I make my schedule as compact and possible to allow the most efficiency out of my day. This semester, I have class 9-6 with no breaks Tuesday and 9-7 with no breaks Thursday. This may sound like a ton (and it is), but it allows me to work the other 5 days free of everything else. What about homework and projects though? That is a great question! Typically, I am doing all of my homework the night before class after my meetings (I guess that means school starts for me at 3AM) and projects I will always try to work on as my free time allows. I am proud to say that I do not miss homework, tests and rarely miss class. When I do miss class though, it is because I am traveling, and I won’t lie to you and tell you it is easy because you will miss what is going on, but as they say, “ya gotta do what ya gotta do”. I find myself often reading class notes and doing a lot of self study on the subjects I am taking to supplement my abscesses and to better prepare me for tests as studying often is a luxury I will be able to do for long periods of time.
The most important thing though about all of this is that I get to wake up everyday in love, excited and passionate about everything I do. I think that no matter what you do you need to love it. If you don’t, what is the point? Chaos is a part of the equation and every day I am met with new problems, struggles and puzzles to overcome, but that is part of the job and you can’t quit. If you believe in something you need to follow it down every rabbit hole it creates and eventually with enough heart, blood, sweat, tears it will be accomplished. Don’t underestimate what you are capable of because if I can figure it out you definitely can. Be hyper organized, don’t waste time, be honest and genuine with yourself and always keep looking. Every door is a brand new opportunity and should be explored and evaluated. Don’t think just because you are in school you can’t start now because there is no time like the present to start chasing what you believe in.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering “but you have to do something else in there for fun? What keeps you going?” well, lots of things! I truly love what I do so it never feels like work, but everyone no matter how crazy their life is needs time off. For me, I spend my time off researching, designing and building new ideas. I build guitars, amplifiers and guitar pedals so I spend my time building, modifying and repairing work for people (oh, I forgot to mention up top I am also a luthier (guitar builder) and do builds and repairs for clients as well as build guitar rigs). Most things genuinely intrigue me so I love to dig in and do research on everything from architecture to jeweling. I also love to read. I am always reading books. I find that the more books you read and the more diverse the subjects will help better you for your everyday life. I am currently reading books ranging from The Art of War, to restaurant/bar management, to automobile mechanics and psychological aspects of long term investing. I binge buy books (I have about 20 on the way from Amazon as I type this) and try to read small chunks of them every day. Lastly, I play guitar!!! I am a musician. I am a guitar player and sure I do not get to play everyday like most musicians, but that does not take away from a second that at my heart I am a musician.
One last thing, do not ever do something just for the money. I am very new to this game, but the one thing I have learned and believe 100% is that money is easy to find, make and spend. It is a tool that is meant to be used. If you are good at something the money will always be there. I can’t tell you how many people I see give up on what they do for money when they were just two feet away from making their dreams come true. Stay your course, do what you love, don’t sleep, do your research, never say you can’t do something and keep your head up and eyes open because that is when the real magic happens.